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China’s Import of Chipmaking Equipment Hits Record High Amid Looming Taiwan Conflict

China’s Import of Chipmaking Equipment Hits Record High Amid Looming Taiwan Conflict

Financial Times UK: “China’s imports of semiconductor equipment have surged to record highs.”

Despite U.S. sanctions, China is building up its chipmaking capabilities at breakneck speed by importing manufacturing equipment at a record pace. “China’s imports of semiconductor equipment have surged to record highs,” the UK daily Financial Times reported Friday as China increases naval and military buildup around Taiwan.

Beijing is upgrading its chip manufacturing capabilities as it restricts the U.S. from procuring raw material needed for cutting-edge microchips. Last month, China banned the export of critical minerals used in high-performance chips, particularly those needed in the production of defense systems. “China set export restrictions on two minerals the U.S. says are critical to the production of semiconductors, missile systems and solar cells,” The Wall Street Journal reported July 4.

The Financial Times reported:

China’s imports of semiconductor equipment have surged to record highs ahead of the implementation of export curbs by US allies.

Chinese customs data shows the country’s chip production tool imports in June and July totalled nearly $5bn, up 70 per cent from $2.9bn in the same period last year.

Most of the imports came from the Netherlands and Japan, two countries that have imposed export restrictions on chipmaking equipment as they work with the US to slow China’s technological advancement. (…)

While it is not clear how much of the increase in imports relates to tools that will be covered by restrictions, the purchases suggest China wants to avoid any disruption to its plans to expand chip production.

China is also building up its military with the aim of annexing Taiwan, by far the world’s biggest chipmaker. As UK weekly The Economist notes, “Taiwan produces over 60% of the world’s semiconductors and over 90% of the most advanced ones.” Most of this high-end manufacturing is done by a single company, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC).

A Ukraine-style invasion of Taiwan could disrupt the U.S. economy and military, which heavily depends on the import of chip components from the island nation. In today’s digital economy, chips are key building blocks of almost all devices. High-end chips power a wide-range of military systems in modern-day warfare, including battlefield communications, air defense, missiles, artillery systems, and aircraft.

China seeks self-sufficiency in chipmaking

The Chinese move is part of a bigger strategy to insulate its chipmaking sector and close the technology gap with the U.S., which Beijing seeks to surpass as the world’s foremost economic and military power. While the U.S, semiconductor supply chain remains scattered across Asia and Europe, China is working on a plan make itself self-sufficient in the sector.

DC-based policy journal The Diplomat reported in September 2020:

China has enhanced its drive to build up a domestic semiconductor capacity in recent years, most notably through its “Made in China 2025” policy together with steps more specifically targeted at the semiconductor industry, such as Guidelines to Promote National Integrated Circuit Industry, often referred to as the National Integrated Circuit Plan. Broad goals for the semiconductor sector include producing 70 percent of domestic needs within China by 2025, and reaching parity with international leading edge technology in all segments of the industry by 2030.

President Donald Trump understood the U.S.’s vulnerability in the semiconductor sector. Despite criticism from the mainstream media, he made it front and center of his China policy. The Australian think tank Lowy Institute noted in a 2021 paper:

Export control policy in the semiconductor sector – an industry that supplies the world’s computer, smartphone, appliances and medical equipment industry with electronic chips – was at the forefront of Donald Trump’s tech war against China. The addition of China’s top chipmakers, such as Huawei and the Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), to the US Department of Commerce’s “entity list” between 2019 and 2020 brought an abrupt stop to the two countries’ technological cooperation.


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China is preparing for war. And no matter the cost, they’ve going to win it because Biden and the swamp have embezzled out military’s ammo (sending it to Ukraine for payoffs), put our admirals in dresses, put affirmative action dimwits in general officer positions and destroyed the base of potential recruits with woke bullsh-t. (Not that our base of young men is military-worthy to begin with- another accomplishment of the left.)

China’s population of 1.6 BILLION, it’s disciplined and patriotic citizenry, it’s large and replaceable army and it’s giant military build-up will bring the US to its knees in any Pacific war.

In addition, the agents China has seeded into our country via illegal immigration will decimate US infrastructure from within – in ONE DAY.

Biden is owned lock stock and barrel by the Chicomms (and every other enemy of the US). The GOPe is on board with Biden’s corruption, dipping their beaks just as much as the democrats. (Why else would they put a loser like Ronna Romney in charge of a presidential election when she’s NEVER won an election?)

China will destroy the US by attrition, and a lot easier than Ho Chi Minh did, with the help of Jane Fonda and Walter Cronkite. Today, ALL of Hollywood is Jane Fonda, and ALL of the media are Watler Conkrites.

retiredcantbefired | August 26, 2023 at 3:56 pm

1.4 billion. But the point is clear.

    Likely 1.2B or less. Demographers cannot derive either the 1.4B or the 1.3B from the 1956 census. Both numbers seem outrageously high and there was no immigration.

      India’s numbers are purported to be even higher.

      But when you’re in the billions, what’s a hundred million or two here and there.

      Remember: Mao murdered 100 million Chinese people for political reasons. Their families aside, no one else seems to have missed them.

      Now, take the US: 335 million people, yet only 25% of the military-aged population is fit for service, That means SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT of our base of potential soldiers is UNFIT for service.

      When the shooting starts, and we run out of ammo and men in the first week, China will simply bring in the reserves. And if nuclear war breaks out, you can bet the modern, mentally-ill, sociopathic or corrupt American population will not be among the world’s survivors when the smoke clears. China and India – and parts of Africa that know how to feed themselves – will survive.

“China’s leading-edge production is 14nm, where Taiwan, Korea, and the US are all ramping up production at 3nm. But most of China’s fab capacity is even further behind, at 28nm.” ace-pixy link leads to Tom’s hardware.

AMD was stuck at 28nm for years because TSMC and Samsung fumbled the transition to FINFETs – only Intel got that right. That almost bankrupted the company.

In 2020, Chinese chip champion Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. was two or three generations behind global leaders. Today, following several rounds of crippling U.S. sanctions against the Chinese semiconductor sector, the People’s Republic’s chip industry is at least five generations behind — and the gap can expand, according to Gerald Yin, chief executive of Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc., a wafer fab equipment manufacturer from China, reports DigiTimes.

    China will absorb Taiwan’s chip prowess, either by force or coercion.

    We can have all the chips we want, but when bullets cyber attacks start dismantling our electrical grid, the Junkie George Floyd riots will look like “peaceful protests”.

    China’s game is long. America’s game – the swamp in charge’s game, at least – is very short and unsustainable. They’re money-grubbers who would sell their mothers to the Devil, let alone our country. America is now a hollowed-out ball, and it’s going to collapse under it’s own dead weight.

    Lucifer Morningstar in reply to Tiki. | August 26, 2023 at 4:41 pm

    The thing is that the Chinese can purchase and import all the chip fabricating machinery that it wants but it will do them no good as they lack the skilled, trained employees with the experience necessary to operate the machines effectively to produce the technologically advanced chips produced at other chip foundries. So until that happens we don’t have anything to worry about.

      JohnSmith100 in reply to Lucifer Morningstar. | August 26, 2023 at 4:59 pm

      If they get Taiwan, they will terrorize those with skills into working for them and training others. That must not be allowed to happen. We should start recruiting those people now, and for everyone who comes from Taiwan, kick out 100 illegal leaches.

      “they lack the skilled, trained employees with the experience necessary”

      This ^. It’s easy to panic monger.

      I’ve worked in what is essentially a production-assembly-manufacturing facility for mil defense oriented 6-18ghz GaAsFET amplifiers.

      That is why Flex is manufacturing for EnPhase.

      Dirty business.

It was Congress that allowed Japanese manufacturers to dump integrated circuit chips on US market. That was the mid 1970’s. It killed our IC manufacturing capacity for about 15 years.

And now it – and the EU – allow surreptitious third party equipment smuggling to Chinese manufacturers.

    You really expect the modern American Congress to put our country first and their own finances second? That goes for the EU as well.

      Good god, stop flapping your lips for just one moment?

        Ironclaw in reply to Tiki. | August 26, 2023 at 6:49 pm

        Why? He’s spot on about the traitors in Congress.

          Tiki in reply to Ironclaw. | August 27, 2023 at 1:10 am

          I’ll repost my comment:

          “It was Congress that allowed Japanese manufacturers to dump integrated circuit chips on US market. That was the mid 1970’s. It killed our IC manufacturing capacity for about 15 years.

          And now it – and the EU – allow surreptitious third party equipment smuggling to Chinese manufacturers.”

          I kinda pointed it out already? Seriously. How did you miss that part of the conversation? Me noting how our people killed our IC manufacturing capacity? How graft leads to tech transfers to China?

          Tell me how I’m unaware of the treason here? That I worked in the defense contracting industry. Had a pretty high level security clearance – not a noob confidential clearance.

        Tiki, my lips are making sense. Yours, when they move, are very far behind the curve.

The Gentle Grizzly | August 26, 2023 at 7:23 pm

Nanometer dominance means nothing when your enemy has 1.4 billion cannon fodder, a big navy, and plenty of ammunition not headed for Ukraine.

    WAY too many of us can’t get that through their heads.

    The point of the article is about current and future tech dominance. Innovation and engineering. Communists are imitators, not innovators.

    But you want to talk about fielding armies? And artillery shell production? And an untested Chinese navy executing a Normandy style troop landing on beaches located on North and Central America?

    And you’re supposedly one of the thoughtful commenters here at LI?

CHIPS initiative.
Biden and Granholm gush over EnPhase at Flex in W Columbia, SC.

Not cool.

    The “CHIPS initiative” has so many strings attached that I can’t imagine any major semiconductor company will use it to fund anything more complicated than a wastewater treatment facility.

We may have to do a massive evacuation of Taiwan’s people.